The questions for our tanning salon business consultant keep coming. This week, a tanning salon owner known as “Frustrated in Florida” had this to ask:

“We have an employee who sometimes flakes in her duties, so much so that she once lost her employee privileges. She earned them back two weeks later and everything was good for a while. Recently, she started a problem by involving everyone in her argument with my salon manager. This upset all my employees, of course. I know there can sometimes be a little drama with an all-female staff but this is getting out of hand. Is there a way to bring all of us ladies closer together? Or would it be better to cut the troublemaker loose?”

I’m sorry to hear that you’re frustrated. Perhaps my answer to your question can help alleviate that.

My initial response is to ask have you had a heart to heart talk about how her actions, words or drama affects you and the staff? Do you have specific instances of what she did that caused problems or built upon existing problems? If you do, and she says that everyone is involved with the drama, remind her that your conversation is not about everyone else and their actions but specifically about hers. If she is a trouble maker or trouble increaser, she will try to deflect the criticism to someone else. Tell her that your topic of conversation with her will only cover HER actions or issues. Remind her that it is YOUR place to take actions with others if such responses are deemed necessary.

Now, if she has heard this before, and IF she was warned that what she does won’t be tolerated, then give her one more opportunity to show that the job is more important to her than being an actress in a tanning salon soap opera. If she crosses that line again, then cut her loose. Chances are good that other employees are watching your actions to see if the leader in you is not afraid to correct what is causing problems when they occur.

If you do have to face the decision of terminating someone’s employment, use these eight strategies:

  1. Speak with the employee immediately rather than taking the time to build up your courage. The more you wait, the harder it is to do.
  2. Don’t fire the person in front of your salon staff. Have a place designated for this discussion.
  3. Open the discussion with a review/documentation of the employee’s performance issues. Stick to the facts and don’t let your emotions come into play.
  4. While reviewing the employee’s performance problems, continue to state the issues and what you did to try to correct them. Make sure the employee understands that the performance problem was not corrected on their end.
  5. If the employee becomes angry or upset, call in a third person. This is usually often to calm the situation.
  6. If the termination is due to competency reasons, try to get the employee to see that the situation is a mismatch between the job’s requirements and the person. Do not attack their self esteem.
  7. Is the termination is due to attitude, insubordination, or repeated violations of company policies? If so, tell the employee that their refusal to comply with redirection is why their employment is being terminated.
  8. At the conclusion, inform the employee that the termination of their employment is immediate. Make it clear that they are to leave the premises immediately. You don’t want angry ex-employees hanging around, potentially speaking with other employees or tanners.

Note: Check out this content for additional salon employee job termination tips and advice.

When all is said and done, the most important thing is that your employees know what lines not to cross. They have to respect who you are as a salon owner or manager. Remember, your tanning salon is not a sorority house, it’s a business. In the meantime, if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask this tanning salon business consultant!

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